A missile in lycra

Here’s an extract from my book ‘Magick’; this small incident involving a dangerous cyclist leads onto many other things. To my hero, Thomas Radwinter he is just helping someone in need – little does he know that this one small act of consideration and kindness brings wonderful rewards later in the book!

I got off the bus and turned up the collar of my coat, a brisk chilly north wind was coming off the sea; the flat I used to live in is in a purpose built block but instead of facing the sea our apartment faced the road and a belt of trees, which were pretty in autumn but not very inspiring. There was nowhere properly to cross the road so I waited with a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair for a break in the traffic.
“We can go now,” I said to her, and we crossed together, remarking how dangerous the road was with nowhere to safely cross. There was a parade of shops a little further along and there were always people, especially from the flats, going over to buy things.
I asked if she needed help with the chair up the curb but as she was telling me she was fine, from nowhere a missile in lycra crashed into her as a car roared past. The woman screamed and somehow I managed to grab her with one hand and keep her on her feet and hold the wheelchair which now rolled back into the road.
The lycra clad cyclist sprung to his feet and picked up his bike which had skidded down the road. He came towards us and instead of apologising for what could have been a dreadful accident he began to abuse the woman! Well, I wasn’t going to stand for that!
“I’m calling the police!” I stepped between him and the woman, brandishing my phone. “You bloody idiot! You could have killed us all!”
“You fat twat! You should keep off the road, I could have been killed!”
“Indeed you could but that was your responsibility!”
“You haven’t even got a license for that thing!” he shouted at the woman, indicating the wheelchair which was a bit rich coming from a cyclist.
“Nor have you for the bike. I hope you have insurance, by the way, for when I sue you.” He gaped at me for a moment, and then I told him I was a solicitor and I’d like to have his name and address so I could get in touch with the police, and if they weren’t interested in prosecuting him… At that point with a further mouthful of abuse, this time directed at me, he leapt onto his bike and within seconds he had zoomed off towards Strand.
I helped the woman with the chair now, she was shaking and trying not to cry. She wasn’t that much older than me, and the man in the chair was a similar age but seemed totally unaware of what had happened. He was looking around him, but in a vague and unfocussed way. She was upset, frightened and angry. She lived on the ground floor off our block of flats but I’d never seen her before.
“Can I help you with the chair?” I asked and I pushed it as she blew her nose and wiped her eyes and thanked me again. I introduced myself and told her I used to live in the flats.
“We’ve only just moved in, I don’t know anyone… we were in a house before… before..” and she indicated the man. “My name is Joanne Shears and this is my husband Jamie.”
“Hello Jamie, are you alright, not too shaken?” I asked. He smiled vaguely and lifted his hand as if to wave, but I didn’t get the feeling he knew what I meant.
I pushed them to the door of their flat; it was at the back so would look out into the communal garden, and I think it would have French windows so Joanne could push Jamie out when the weather improved.
“Thank you so much, Thomas, really, thank you…”

© Lois Elsden 2017

… and here is a link to my book – I hope you enjoy it!


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